Representatives from the California Highway Patrol and Santa Ana Police Department said today there have been no new developments in the case of the death threats against Governor Jerry Brown spray-painted on two walls in Santa Ana. (Brown's office directed all inquiries to the CHP, which is heading the investigation.)
Fran Clader, commander of the CHP's Office of Media Relations, issued the statement that follows the statement after the jump.
“The CHP is aware of the graffiti messages in Santa Ana and is investigating them as threats to the Governor. The CHP takes seriously any threat made to a public official and investigates each one. For security and investigatory reasons, the CHP does not discuss details of any threats or the investigative steps taken to identify those responsible for making them.”
In some media reports, authorities have compared the graffiti to terrorist threats and said they are being taken even more seriously because of the recent shooting massacre in Tucson, Arizona. Pray Sarah Palin did not previously release a map with cross hairs over Brown's corner loft in Sacramento.
“We Gonna Kill Gov Brown 02142011” was painted on a wall along Greenville Street just north of Alton Street in Santa Ana before it was quickly covered up Thursday by the Public Works Department. A couple hours later, “26
More Days [Swastika Sign] 4 Brown” was discovered scrawled near Thornton Park.
The threats have garnered intense media attention around the country, at times to comical effect. For instance, a Reuters news agency report on the messages describes Santa Ana in a way no one living in Orange County would: “an affluent city near the coast about 30 miles south of Los Angeles.”
To be fair, Reuters covers the world, and Santa Ana, California, is more affluent than, say, Santa Ana, El Salvador.
Meanwhile, a Wonkette report on the local threats against Brown allowed the Wonkette web site and its readers to once again take potshots at Orange County, as those who know the region's conservative reputation and/or visited an aunt here once took see-what-kinda-shit-happens-there stances against our li'l slice of paradise.
Wonkette's Ken Layne set the hate-OC ball in motion by writing:
Anyway, why do these Nazi Gangstas want to kill Jerry Brown? What did he do to the O.C. Nazi Gangstas?
Because this is a crazy country full of crazy people and Orange
County is basically “Arizona on the Coast,” police are taking this
super-seriously even though they have absolutely no idea if these
messages are related or refer to Jerry Brown or are legally protected as
Talk Radio language or what, nobody knows at all. Nobody knows anything, but we will all keep updating this story regularly until we don't know anything later.
Actually, what set Layne off may have been a misinterpretation on his part. Here's how he began his post:
Southern California Nazis or whatever have painted graffiti in the
Orange County town of Santa Ana informing new (again) Governor Jerry
Brown that they will kill him next month. One message says “We're gonna
kill Gov. Brown 2/14/11″ and the other says “26 more days 4 Brown” and
has a swastika instead of, we guess, a period. Santa Ana police Corporal
Anthony Bertagna, who is apparently mentally challenged, told local
media he did not know if the messages were related in any way. (The two
threats were both found yesterday in the same Orange County town, when
February 14 was 26 days away, so who knows, right? One is probably
referring to sending Meg Whitman a Valentine's Day snake or something,
and the other probably doesn't even exist in our universe.)
Actually, unless Layne was looking at a media report that I have not seen, what Bertagna has said everywhere else is SAPD is not sure if the Brown graffiti threats are related to graffiti threats and slurs directed at Asians, blacks and Catholics that have surfaced in Santa Ana over the past month.
But, hey, don't let a little fact like that get in the way of your rants against the Orange County stereotype, guys.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.